Monty the Dog is a British children's programme based on the books by Colin West and was broadcast on BBC1 in 1995 and repeated on BBC2 from 1996 - 2001.
Monty is a pet dog owned by the Sprod family (Mr and Mrs Sprod and their children Simon and Josie). He wears his trademark red glasses which the Sprod family made for him following a suggestion from a cyclist who nearly hit him the day before. Monty still appears to be accident prone and he likes to eat sausages, chocolate biscuits, ice cream, custard, mince pies and Walnut Whips which often gets him into trouble.
The novels were published by A & C Black as part of the Jets series. They follow more or less the same format except for the first one which includes an explanation on why Monty wears glasses. The story is mainly told through text and illustrations in black and white though there is the occasional speech bubble for the human characters and thought bubble for Monty's thoughts. The illustrations on the covers are in colour.
- Monty, the Dog who Wears Glasses (1989)
In The Reason Why whilst Monty was waiting outside the sweet shop for Simon he stepped onto the road and was nearly hit by a cyclist. When Simon came out of the shop the man on the bike said "What that dog needs is a pair of glasses!" The following day Simon removed the lenses from an old pair of sunglasses and gave them to Monty to remind him to be more careful. Simon did not think that Monty is short sighted but the family agree he looked more handsome with the glasses. In Monty's Barbecue there was talk of having a barbecue if the weather held on so Monty did his fair weather act to encourage Mr Sprod. Unfortunately for the humans it rained but Monty got the uneaten sausages. In Monty at School Monty followed Simon and Josie to school wondering what it was like. He lost sight of them when they got there so he went into the staffroom and rested in an armchair. A pupil came in to hand in some lost property and saw Monty so she spread the news round the playground. When Simon and Josie heard the rumours of a dog with glasses in the staffroom they realised that it could only be Monty and went to claim him. Mrs Prendlethorpe the headmistress made it clear that Monty was not to come back to school but let him stay for the rest of the school day. In Monty at the Library after posting letters and carrying a newspaper home with Josie Monty got a chocolate biscuit for being helpful. Monty heard that Simon was supposed to return a library book so he did it himself to try and get another biscuit. He dropped the book in a puddle but returned it anyway. The librarian took the damaged book and wrote a note for Monty to take back home. It was a fine for the damage so Monty did not get any biscuits for it. In Monty's Christmas Monty was excited about Father Christmas coming and thought he would give him Walnut Whips if he helped him. Monty saw a man with a sack in the living room thinking it must be a burglar he bit him on the ankle but it turned out to be just Mr Sprod. In Monty at the Supermarket Mrs Sprod left Monty outside the supermarket whilst she went shopping. Monty got bored and decided to have a go on one of the trolleys so he slipped out of his collar to which he was tethered. A woman came and took the trolley but did not notice Monty until it was emptied at the checkout. The manager took Monty to his office and looked after him until Mrs Sprod claimed him.
- Monty Bites Back (1990) Published in the United States as Shape Up Monty! in 1991.
In Monty Gets the Chop Monty was still accident prone with his glasses so Simon and Josie decided to record his accidents and threatened to give him the chop if he had three mishaps in one day. Monty had two accidents that day and worrying that they were going to chop off his head he stayed in his basket and hardly dared to move. Mrs Sprod cooked too much so she let Monty have the extra meat chop. In Monty's picnic the Sprod family were going to the seaside. When they stopped for petrol Monty sneaked out to the picnic hamper on top of the car to eat the mince pies. The car started again whilst Monty was still in the hamper and he got sick. When the Sprod family realised Monty was gone they screeched to a halt and Monty was hurled out though he was not hurt but the picnic was ruined. In Monty and the Cat Next Door Monty was jealous at the attention Gertrude the cat was getting next door so he sneaked up behind her to give her a surprise. Monty barked and Gertrude got through the gate but Monty got his head stuck. A woman released him by putting margarine behind his ears. In Monty and the School Fête Simon and Josie were not having luck selling Monty souvenirs at their school fête. A gust of wind blew away the headmistresses hat but Monty caught it. Everyone was impressed by this and bought Monty souvenirs. Mrs Prendlethorpe was annoyed at the damage to her hat but was pleased that Simon and Josie raised lots of money. In Monty's Mistake Mrs Sprod and the children talked about putting Mr Sprod on a diet and Monty though they were talking about him. Monty then did exercises around the garden to prove he was fit to the bemusement of the Sprod family.
- Monty Must be Magic (1992)
In Monty goes Missing Monty went to the garden shed to get away from the noise in the house. Whilst he was sleeping the Sprod family worried that he had gone missing. The family looked for him but Monty came back in for supper and Mrs Sprod ordered the rest of the family to leave Monty in peace. In Monty gets the Blame Granny Sprod was coming round to stay for the weekend. She took Monty to the park with Simon and Josie and they were tired out at the end of the day. That night Granny who liked to eat the same things as Monty came down for a snack and ate all the chocolate biscuits. In the morning Mr Sprod put the blame on Monty because there were crumbs by his basket and the biscuit jar was empty so Mr Sprod gave him no breakfast. Mr Sprod made Granny breakfast in bed but she was not hungry after the biscuits so she offered it to Monty. In Monty meets Bruiser the Sprod family went camping and Simon and Josie went to play before tea. They met two children called Alan and Amy who had a dog called Bruiser who was better at frisbee catching and throwing than Monty. Monty tried to throw paper plates to show off but the first two attempts were disastrous. He caught the third one and the crowd was impressed. In Monty's Big Surprise Simon and Josie gave Monty a bath which he did not like but he got back at them by shaking water onto them. In Monty's Magic Trick Mr Sprod was performing a magic show for the children at a Christmas party and Monty hid in the magic box hoping to sneak for the sausage rolls. The secret flap came down trapping Monty inside and Mr Sprod performed the magic box trick. Just as they thought there was nothing else inside Monty suddenly popped out and the kids thought Monty must be magic.
- Monty - up to his neck in trouble (1992)
In Monty's Toothache Monty had a nightmare about his teeth falling out and having to have dentures fitted. He woke up with a toothache and was afraid to eat in case his teeth really did fall out. Mr Sprod decided to take Monty to the vet when Simon and Josie worry about him. When the vet checked Monty's teeth he accidentally nipped her fingers and the vet said he had a good set of teeth. Monty started to feel happy again and the vet said there was not much wrong with him. In Monty at the Movies Monty went shopping with Mrs Sprod and the children. It was raining so they decided to go to the cinema to see the Four Eyed Monster from Mars which Simon and Josie both wanted to see. They kept quiet about Monty and luckily the cinema staff did not notice him. A popcorn advert got Monty into a trance and he wondered off dreamily behind the back row into the light coming from the projector. The silhouette of Monty's face scared the audience as he did when he jumped onto them in the seats. The Sprods caught him and they decide to leave before they get thrown out. In Monty's Party Adventure Simon and Josie went to their friend Fiona's birthday party and Monty decided to sneak to her house for the food. Monty took the shortcut through the back gardens but a tea towel fell on his head so he got mixed up and went to the wrong house. Mrs Perkins-Smythe was having a tea party and everyone recognised Monty by his glasses so they let him stay. The vicar at the party returned Monty and explained to Simon and Josie who had just returned home. In Monty at the Park Monty went to the park with Simon and Josie to feed the ducks. They tethered Monty to a tree where he got bored. Monty got tempted by people walking past with ice creams and he tripped up a man whose ice cream fell into Monty's mouth. The man got angry about it and told Simon and Josie that they should keep that dog under control. In Monty in Trouble Monty overheard Mrs Sprod saying that Josie left her recorder so he decided to bring it to her in school. Monty sneaked into the kitchen to avoid the headmistress and got chased by the dinner ladies. Monty got up to his neck in the custard whilst trying to jump over it. The headmistress and the dinner ladies followed the trail of custard to find Monty outside Josie's classroom. Mrs Prendlethorpe was actually pleased about it because they could serve fruit for pudding instead of the custard to get the children to eat healthily. The grateful headmistress fished Josie's recorder from the custard and washed it so she could join in music practice.
- Monty Ahoy! (1994)
In Monty and the Model Boat Monty went to the park with Simon and Josie to try out Simon's new remote controlled boat. A football bounced off Monty's head into the lake and the kids with the ball blamed Monty. Simon tried to get the ball back with a stick but got it caught up in some weeds. The biggest boy in the gang threatened to take the boat so Josie placed Monty on the boat and moved it towards the ball. Monty nudged the ball back to shore and they return it. In Monty's Mixed-up Morning Granny Sprod came to stay with the family. Whilst doing cartwheels in the garden with Monty they bumped into each other and mismatched their glasses which fell off. Through Granny's glasses everything looked bigger to Monty and for Granny everything looked smaller with Monty's glasses. Granny and Monty were confused by the size of their meals and the Sprod family got into an argument about Mr Sprod not giving Granny enough and Josie giving Monty too much. Monty and Granny go for a nap in the living room to get away from the arguing. Whilst they were asleep their glasses fell off so they put them back on. This time they got the right pairs and no one knew what really happened. In Monty on Sports Day Simon and Monty come along to cheer Josie in the school sports day. In the Grand Relay the boy passing Josie the Blue Teams baton dropped it so Monty ran to pick it up and won the race. Mrs Predlethorpe was going to disqualify Monty but then she checked the rule book when Simon suggested it and there were no rules against dogs competing. After everyone had left the headmistress added a new rule to the book. In Monty and the Dog Food after watching an advert for the new Chubby Chunks dog food Simon and Josie were impressed but Monty did not like the look of it. After the kids told Mrs Sprod to get some Monty tried to tell them he did not want any by making faces, yowling and chewing the shopping list but the family got the wrong message. Mrs Sprod came back without the Chubby Chunks because the shops had sold out which pleased Monty but when the Chubby Chunks advert came on again he liked the look of it. In Monty's New Year Monty went sledging with Simon and Josie on New Years Day. The three of them got thrown off the sledge after hitting an old tree stump. Simon and Josie were unhurt but Monty got his head stuck in the snow. The children pulled Monty out and took him home to thaw.
- Monty's Ups and Downs (1996)
- Book cover of Monty's Ups and Downs featuring Simon and Josie Sprod
(standing in front of the store manager). The sticker on the top right mentions Monty as a BBC TV star which is a reference to the television series. In Monty and the Raffle Simon and Josie were running the raffle stall at the Bumper Bazaar at their school and Monty came along. The kids borrowed Monty's glasses and put them on the teddy bear to make him more exciting. Monty got tempted by the cakes on the next stall and knocked the teddy head first into a big chocolate cake. As the headmistress approached Josie put the glasses and the teddy's hat onto Monty, put him on the prize stand and told him not to move. When Mrs Prendlethorpe picked up Monty to take prizes to the stage he sneezed and headmistress ran away screaming. In Monty and the Antique Vase Granny was coming to visit the Sprod family so Mr Sprod went to clean the vase she got them. Mr Sprod hated the vase and was sure it was cheap so he decided to get Monty to break it. He put the vase onto a spindly table and called Monty who knocked it over as he ran past. Monty was confused about why Mr Sprod was happy but then he got angry after seeing a similar vase on an antiques show that was worth about £1,000. In Monty's Football Match Granny took Monty to the park with Simon and Josie where they meet Adam, Alice and Andrew. They decided to play football with them and mark out the goals using bags. They ran out of bags so the used Monty as a goalpost. Monty cheated by secretly moving to make the goal wider to help the Sprods to score then he made it narrower when they changed ends allowing the Sprods to beat the A Team. In Monty's Midnight Snack Monty was wide awake, whilst the Sprod family were asleep, thinking about food so he decided to get a snack. Monty reached the handle of the fridge door from his basket and tried to reach the trifle but it landed on his head. In Monty's Shopping Trip Monty went with Simon and Josie who tethered him to a lamp post whilst they did their Christmas shopping. Monty slipped out of his collar and went into Borridge's department store after his owners. After having mishaps with the revolving door, the smell of the perfume which he did not like and the lift Monty decided to rest on a trampoline but ended up bouncing on it. A man in the crowd caught Monty and handed him to Simon and Josie. The manager became pleased when customers wanted to buy the trampoline after seeing Monty bounce on it so he gave Monty's owners a tennis racket as a reward.
Television series Edit
A television series made by Ealing Animation titled Monty based on the character, although he is referred to as Monty the Dog in the theme tune, was first broadcast on BBC 1 in 1995. It is narrated by Griff Rhys Jones, Unlike the novels in which Monty's glasses do not have lenses it is implied that Monty is short sighted and has lenses in his glasses on television.
- Monty's Picnic
- Monty Goes to School
- Monty and the Cat Next Door
- Monty's Magic Trick
- Monty Gets the Blame
Based on the story in Monty Must Be Magic Grandma was coming round to stay with the Sprod family and took Monty to the park with Simon and Josie where they went to the playground, fed the ducks and went on the boating lake. That night Grandma who liked to eat the same things as Monty came down for a snack and ate all the chocolate biscuits. In the morning Mr Sprod put the blame on Monty because there were crumbs by his basket and the biscuit tin was empty so Mr Sprod gave him no breakfast. Mr Sprod made Grandma breakfast in bed but she was not hungry after her late night snack so she offered the sausages to Monty.
- Monty at the Vets
- Monty at the Library
- Monty at the Supermarket
- Monty at the Park
- Monty at the School Fete
- Monty and the Monsters
Loosely based on the story Monty's Mixed-up Morning in Monty Ahoy! The Sprod family went to visit Grandma and Monty was excited that she was going to give him his favourite treat. When Monty leaped onto Grandma in his excitement both their glasses fell off and got mismatched. Whilst the family were in the kitchen Monty wearing Grandma's glasses met the grandfather clock and the vacuum cleaner which both looked like terrifying monsters to him. Monty accidentally broke a vase when he backed away nervously. The family came to investigate and Simon realised that Grandma was wearing Monty's glasses when she could not see the mess. They swapped the glasses and Monty was sent to the car where he would not cause any more trouble.
- Monty Goes Missing
- Monty Meets Bruiser
Monty the Dog has been shown and repeated on BBC1 and BBC2 several times in the 1990's and 2000's. CBBC on Choice premiered Monty the Dog on Wednesday 16th August 2000 at 8.55am, 11.55am, 2.55pm and 5.55pm and continued until Friday 1st September 2000. It returned on Thursday 26th October 2000 at the 7.55am, 10.55am, 1.55pm and 4.55pm until Monday 13th November 2000 and the final run was on Thursday 24th January 2002 - Friday 8th February 2002 at 6.55am, 9.55am, 12.55pm and 3.55pm. It has continued to be repeated on CBeebies until 2004.